A lot of people do New Years Resolutions to start off the new year. I used to do that. However, I found that I rarely was able to follow through with the resolutions. In looking at why that might be, I discovered a couple of things.
First of all, I clearly wasn’t committed to the resolutions I chose or I wouldn’t see them on the list year after year. There is nothing to be gained by placing the same things on your list every year, if you are really not going to do them. It only makes you feel bad that you aren’t getting them done. And I don’t need any reasons to make me feel incompetent or unhappy with myself.
Second, a lot of resolutions are entirely too vague and non-specific. Things like eating healthy, being organized, working out, spending time with family, etc. – those are things you will always be doing. They are never going to be ‘done’ so you can check them off. They are the type of things that are often on a Resolution list, but they are really lifestyle choices that are on-going. You won’t be able to check them off as completed!
In order to feel good about having a ‘list’ and checking things off of it, they need to be actual things that can be done and checked off – not some vague ideas. Specific items like paint the bathroom blue, or buy a bicycle, or plant a tree in the park – those are items that can actually be checked off and marked as completed. Woo hoo! Exercise more – that just isn’t specific enough to actually check it off as complete.
Third, I feel so much better when I make a gratitude list of things accomplished during the prior year, rather than a to-do list for the upcoming year. We often are so focused on all the items that we didn’t quite get done and all that we still need to do, that we fail to notice all that we have already done. All the good things that have happened, all the things that went right during the year.
So for the past few years I have made a reflection list for the year – things that went right, things that I was happy about, things I was grateful for, etc. It is a more positive way to start the New Year than a to-do list. And then I have found a word for the year (my word for 2013 is Explore) that I can use as a guide for the upcoming year. The reflection list and the word for the new year really help me close out the prior year and look forward to the new year.
REFLECTIONS & GRATITUDE FOR 2012
- received my Zentangle® certification
- started teaching classes
- invited other teachers to be teaching at Blue Twig Studio
- attended a LOT of live theater events (I love the theater)
- grew my Blue Twig Studio business
- attended several different events as a vendor
- participated in the Butterflies & Friends fundraising event again this year
- participated in a Book Club group over the summer
- attended Art & Soul and met a lot of wonderful people
- traveled to a number of new places
- received great support and feedback from friends & relatives
- signed up for coaching to help me progress in my business
- Blue Twig Studio numbers are all up – newsletter subscribers, blog subscribers, sales
- included more self-care into my life (very important to remember to do)
- participated in the Trail challenge project
- improved my eating habits
- lost weight
You can see that there are a lot of things to be thankful for. And a nice pat on the back for all that I did accomplish. (This isn’t even a full and complete list!)
How about you? What did you accomplish this year? Comment below with one thing that you accomplished this year, or that you are particularly grateful for.